Tag Archives: customer service

How to make selling social

Whiskeydrummer raised a good point regarding my previous entry, “Make selling social to generate sales,” so I’ve made a new entry to answer his question.

So how can you make selling social?

In social marketing, when a company tries to have a conversation with the audience, they are most likely to ask a question or talk about something which relates to as many people as possible because the audience is not just one person. If your target is a niche market, your topic could be specific. However, if your business is big or your target is large, it’s almost impossible to ask something relevant to each of your audience.

Now let’s go back to the question: how to make selling social. I have to tell you one thing in advance. I have an experience of selling projects to clients but I have little experience of doing customer service or sales one, so if you find anything I’m saying wrong, please let me know.

In order to make selling social, a company must have a meaningful conversation with a customer which makes him/her want to share the story like Zappos did with Ben Knorrp. One thing which came up to my mind when thinking about how to make selling social is my former boss.

When I was working for an ad agency in Japan, I had a boss who was great at having a conversation with our clients which often led to the sales. Our clients were always so busy that we rarely had much time to talk about anything other than our business. The only time we could chitchat was when we were walking from a meeting room to the exit after the meeting was over.

One day one of our clients told my boss and my colleague that he had a tough day the previous day. My boss asked him why and he said that his team was shooting a promotion video for their new tough camcorder because they were planning to launch a YouTube page. They reached the entrance and parted. They ended their conversation. On his way to our office, my boss thought, “OK, the camcorder team is going to open their YouTube account. Then they need more videos.” So my boss and one of my colleagues who was in charge of the camcorder website immediately started to create a plan to shoot some videos for YouTube which promote how shockproof and waterproof the new camcorder is and proposed it to the client a week later. Of course, the client bought their project because that was what he wanted. What is more, the client shared this story with his colleagues. A later day, a different client of ours actually told us that he heard the story and was impressed how fast my boss and colleague made a perfect plan. So my boss successfully made selling social.

This example is not exactly about sales experience general consumers have, but you can also apply to your business if you have a chance to talk to your customers in order to make selling social. It’s like a conversation you usually have with a clerk when you check out something at a grocery store. When a customer buys something from you, have a meaningful conversation which leads to the sales next time with them. You shouldn’t just ask how they are doing, but also ask them a little bit more about their lives. Find out what they are likely to look for when they visit you next time. Maybe you can even find a hint which implies something they want in the future, though they haven’t even noticed it yet, just like my former boss did. Have a meaningful conversation and customize sales experience for each customer so that they want to buy something from you again. Or you could even tell them something they want and they may buy it. And make sure to provide memorable sales experience your customer wants to share with others.

However, if you don’t have an opportunity to have a one-to-one conversation with your customer, you need different strategies. Unfortunately my time is up, so I’ll write about it in a future post.

I hope I have answered your question adequately, whiskeydrummer.

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Filed under MKTG 1552, Social Media

Make selling social to generate sales

I’ve been wondering if companies’ social marketing activities really lead to sales. I Digged Bob Knorpp’s article on Ad Age and found it very interesting, as it discusses a relationship between sales and social media from a unique angle.

As Knorpp says in the article, many still think that the objectives of social marketing are “to create engagement, gain followers or generate Facebook likes.” Yet does any of them really generate sales? They’re all important elements in social media marketing, but having engaged fans, many followers or many people who like your page doesn’t mean it directly leads to sales.

According to Knorpp, “the object of social marketing is not simply to collect audience appreciation, but to make every customer experience shareable — including the purchase.”

In the article, Knorpp shares his pleasant customer service experience with Zappos. When he sent an anonymous gift with them, the operator was so impressed by his act that this operator sent him multiple gift packages over the next two weeks. Because Knorpp was amazed by Zappos’ quality customer service, he still talks about it (And as you see, he even wrote an article about it for Ad Age).

If you’ve ever visited Zappos’ Facebook page, you probably know that Zappos is great at social media marketing. After reading Knorpp’s story, I realized that Zappos is also great at making their customers talk about them online by giving them memorable and shareable sales experience.

Zappos doesn’t do social to generate sales. Zappos makes selling social.”

Social media marketing can build a strong relationship between a company and the audience and get the public talk about the brand; however, you cannot really tell that it directly leads to sales. Knorpp is right. Customer service experience plays a big part in building the trust. If you have a bad experience of buying something from a company, you won’t probably buy anything from them again, though they have excellent social media activities. If you have great sales experience with a company, you will buy their product again. In this context, whether the company has strong social media activities or not does not really matter when making a purchase decision.

Companies should not just focus on gaining followers/fans/likes or creating engagement, but also offering customers meaningful and shareable sales experience, and get them talk about it online. By making selling social, companies can convert social media into sales.

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Filed under MKTG 1552, Social Media